Lords of Leather Go Hollywood
By Brad Benedict
It was "Lights Cameras Action" as the Lords of Leather presented their Bal Masque XVII on Sun., Mar. 5 at the St. Bernard Civic Center. Their 2000 ball tableau was a very nice one, and it just proved once again that when it comes to great balls you only have to turn to the exquisite leather boys - and girls, whichever the case might be.
The program began with the presentation of the Coat of Arms and the National Anthem, followed by the introduction of the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Pat O'Rourke, a true master when it comes to taking care of balls and a definite asset to the community.
The show started off a little differently this year because of the theme and the costumes. What better way to introduce the audience to Hollywood than to have Alfred Hitchcock (Ambush magazine's and the Gay community's spiritual advisor Anthony Benton, better known to many as Tommy or TTT). "The Birds" was the intro for the two returning members of royalty, Gregory Cain and Mickey Hebert. They were truly elegant in all their moves as they made their presence known to an adoring audience. As they took their places of honor to rule over the night's activities, the crowd awaited the beginning of the main tableau.
Talented and masterful three-time captain Danny Alford entered in grand style and set the stage for what was about to come. It did come in a massive dose beginning with Lord Damon's "Paramount Studios," a reproduction of the logo for one of Hollywood's oldest studios and the handiwork of Baton Rouge's Michael Adams and Kevin Morgan with a little advice from one of the Krewe of Apollo's greatest costumers, Michael's significant other Mark.
This was followed by Lord Sam's magnificent Universal Studios, a creation of Bruce Benton, Baton Rouge's prince of costume makers. It was perhaps the most elegantly styled of the night's presentations and represented another of Hollywood's major studios.
Will Rogers (Lord Timm) came out in a studly-drawn surrey with a fringe on top, and then Lord Timm disembarked and placed a wonderful costume on that was unique. You see it wasn't exactly planned this way, but those cactus plants looked very much like they might represent the cut/uncut element of the male anatomy. What a clever idea!
The next costume was a marvelous "Singing in the Rain" outfit, and it was the scantily-clad stud Bret who carried off top sex honors in the show. He just may well be the cutest little stud in all of Crescent City. He is definitely one of the best when it comes to the personality category and a major asset in the real estate business for New Orleans.
New Orlean's most lovable sweetheart Miss Mina came next with her rendition of "Annie Get Your Gun." This graceful and wonderful youngster radiates with enthusiasm and is the pride and joy of the Knights d'Orleans. She most definitely is one of the nicest human beings around, and those kind don't come along too often. Sweetheart, you were magnificent, and your presence added so much to the LoL ball.
The next lady is a lord, Lord Lorrie. There are many ways to describe this one, but the best is to just say that she is a great asset to the Lords of Leather and a very caring and wonderful friend to all. Lorrie did the "Bride of Frankenstein" and with the help of her assorted entourage, she pulled off a remarkable costume with elegance and style that would have made Miss Elsa proud.
"Jaws" came alive on the St. Bernard stage as a very precious Lord Matt and his sexy attendant amazed the audience with their presence. Matt is another of those youngsters who just simply is a good and very sincere individual. I will have to say one thing. The movie scared me, and I really didn't want to go near a beach after that, but with Matt, I'd fill his throat with my presence just to be with this shark.
Next came "Star Wars" and a most precious little guy. This was Little John's first costume, and it was definitely one of the best in the show. He did Darth Vader proud and also the members of the audience. A slight misstep on stage put him in the audience briefly, but like a trooper, he dusted himself off and finished his thing. It was definitely an exciting time for David of North Baton Rouge fame. Not only did he get smacked by the Vader, but a beautiful lad of the nursing persuasion treated his minor injury. It was a Mardi Gras ball that he will long remember. For Little John, it was also a night to remember, but it was also one that he should be very proud to be included in. For a first effort, it was absolutely brilliant, and the work he put into the costume was great right down to the tiny details of the Death Star. Great job, little one. You are loved and respected for your part in the Lords of Leather extravaganza.
"Indiana Jones" came next with a number that saw Lord Elmer come through the audience fighting off the arrows of evil before donning his back piece and making his way back down the runway. He did a fine job, and Harrison Ford would have been tickled pink to see this performance.
"Star Trek" was a tribute to Lord Jared Campo, who left us in January of this year after a long illness. The costume designs for this ball are the products of his imagination and the expertise of those who bring them into reality. He was one of the Lords of Leather's strongest supporters and one of the finest human beings you could ever have the good fortune to meet. George, Danny, and all of the Lords of Leather paid homage to him as they came on stage to honor his memory. He was truly a wonderful and beautiful guy and a friend to all. Goodbye, Jared, my friend. You will be remembered forever.
As the Metropolitan Dance Troupe and Felina Colby Shane came forth to entertain, the audience eagerly awaited the presentation of the new royalty. As the curtain parted to the sounds of the main soundtrack title "Also Sprach Zarathustra," from "2001: A Space Odyssey," the ball captain lighted the crowns and gave Lord King XVII Damon and Lord Consort XVII Sam to the bal masque audience. The costumes were exquisite and the handiwork of Bruce Orgeron's talented hands and those of several friends. The costumes were accented with futuristic wirework to give it that special touch not seen in many costumes. The new Lord King even added a codpiece to give it an even more original touch. Leather never saw more elegant touches than in these costumes.
After the final bows of outgoing royalty and the Grand March, the announcement of special guests was made. Open court followed, and the new royalty received their adoring audience. It was the end to a perfectly executed ball.
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